Why 'The Notebook' Is Not Relationship Goals

Why 'The Notebook' Is Not Relationship Goals

Let's stop idolizing toxic relationships.

Imagine a man invades your personal space, asks you out, and you say no. He follows you and asks you again, twice. After three explicit “no”'s, he jumps on the ferris wheel you are on, asks you out three more times, again ignoring your disinterest, then threatens to kill himself unless you say you’ll date him. Just saying yes is not enough: unless you say the full sentence, “Yes, I want to go on a date with you!" he says he will jump off the wheel to certain death. I’d imagine most girls would be uncomfortable, if not horrified by this, and rightfully so. Yet this is the beginning of a movie often called the love story of our time.

The relationship between Allie and Noah in "The Notebook" only gets more problematic from there. The narrator says that they “rarely agree on anything” and “fought all the time.” During these fights, Allie physically hits and forcibly shoves Noah. They scream at each other. They call each other names. Noah calls her a “pain-in-the-ass” and says he’s “not afraid to hurt her feelings.” These arguments are minimized by Allie as “just a fight” and justified by being “crazy about each other.” Both excuses are eerily similar to the reasons why people stay in abusive or toxic relationships: the abuse becomes normalized and therefore minimized, and because they believe they are in love.

Yet, despite the disrespect, harassment, and manipulation that began the relationship and the emotionally and physically abusive behaviors of both Allie and Noah, this movie continues to top lists of the best romance movies of all time. Allie and Noah are often referred to as “relationship goals” and tweets like “Still waiting for my Noah Calhoun” seem to always be on my twitter feed.

It makes sense that people like "The Notebook:" movies are made to make the viewer feel a certain way, and the directors want the viewers to like Allie and Noah. The rain, the letters, and the passion they have for each other draw us in. But we should ask ourselves, if our friend was in this relationship would we feel the same way? If a friend said that their partner hits them, said they don’t value their feelings, or that they get in yelling fights every day, would we really look up to them and call it true love? Probably not. We’d probably tell them to leave.

The desire for excitement and passion in a relationship is completely understandable. However, too often movies like "The Notebook" wrap up a toxic relationship in a guise of passion and true love. Since movies like this help form people’s perception of what romantic relationships should be, glamorizing these unhealthy and abusive behavior stops being innocent entertainment and becomes a dangerous influence. So if we really want to have a fictional couple be our relationship goals, can we at least pick a better one?

*cough*Jim and Pam*cough*

Cover Image Credit: Having Time

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.

The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:

“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:


When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:

"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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